Now the man who holds the throttle
On a plunging' mass of steel,
Is a man who's always envied
By the poets, and those who feel
That his work is so romantic,
He must always show a grin.
To complain, or even frown,
I am sure. would be a sin.
But little do these gropers know
Of conditions, so I feel
I must straightway expound to them
About these men of steel.

Now perhaps they get an engine
Which isn't steaming right,
With a dirty, clinkered fire
That should be clean and bright;
Or perhaps the sand's not working,
Or the valves are blowing through,
And she eats the coal and water,
And, the big end's knocking, too,
Now with all these faults apparent,
I'm sure that you would feel,
That the job's not so romantic
For these engineers of steel.

Now if these lines should reach you
On your dingy office stool,
And if perhaps you take me
For some sympathetic fool.
Just ride upon the footplate
Of a monster of the rail,
And you'll find the words herein
Are not fiction or a tale.


—J.A.S., Broadmeadow, Locomotive Journal 193

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